Tags: Hillary Clinton | Supreme Court | judicial watch | deposition | foia | freedom | information

Supreme Court Rejects Judicial Watch Call for Hillary Deposition

hillary clinton stand contrite during his 2016 concession speech
Hillary Clinton (AP)

By    |   Monday, 29 March 2021 07:33 PM

The Supreme Court declined conservative legal group Judicial Watch's request to revisit whether Hillary Clinton should be required to answer questions, under oath, about her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

Forbes Magazine reported, in an unsigned order issued without comment, the justices declined to take up Judicial Watch's petition stemming from the organization's lawsuit over the government's response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The group had sought to depose Clinton and one of her top aides, Cheryl Mills, over electronic communications, and other records in connection with the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Highlighting the State Department's "mishandling of the case," a Ronald Reagan-appointed U.S. District Court judge in March 2020 took the extraordinary step of granting Judicial Watch's discovery request in the lawsuit, and the order entered included a provision requiring Clinton to sit for a deposition.

However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously overturned that ruling in August, granting a writ of mandamus to prevent the ordered deposition.

Writing for the appellate court, Circuit Judge Robert L. Wilkins, a President Barack Obama appointee, said the facts of the case "underscore both the impropriety of the District Court's Order and the appropriateness of turning the page on the issue."

Wilkins further reasoned, Judicial Watch was likely to use the opportunity question Clinton about matters unrelated to her emails.

Judge Wilkins likened the deposition to a fishing expedition. 

"Especially in light of Judicial Watch's present access to extensive information responsive to its proposed deposition topics, the deposition of Secretary Clinton, if allowed to proceed, at best seems likely to stray into topics utterly unconnected with the instant FOIA suit, and at worst could be used as a vehicle for harassment or embarrassment," Judge Wilkins wrote.

In October, Judicial Watch's request to have the full panel of judges on the circuit court rehear the case was rejected, with none of the 10 judges — including some Donald Trump appointees — requesting a vote on the petition.

Law and Crime reports Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton was not happy with the court's decision. He said the justices "drop[ped] the ball . . . again" by not requiring Clinton to sit for a deposition.

"Hillary Clinton ignored the law but received special protection from both the courts and law enforcement," Fitton said. "For countless Americans, this double standard of justice has destroyed confidence in the fair administration of justice. Americans would never have known about Hillary Clinton's email and related pay-for-play scandals but for Judicial Watch's diligence.

"We expect that the Biden State and Justice Departments will continue to protect her and cover up their own misconduct as we press for additional accountability through the courts."

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US
The Supreme Court declined conservative legal group Judicial Watch's request to revisit whether Hillary Clinton should be required to answer questions, under oath, about her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
judicial watch, deposition, foia, freedom, information, act, emails
464
2021-33-29
Monday, 29 March 2021 07:33 PM
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